Size is also a concern for Jenkins, but he has shown the ability to match up with big-time SEC talent through the years. He looks comfortable with the ball in his hands as a returner and projects to contribute there, as well.
If teams can overlook his off-field transgressions, Jenkins has the natural abilities to be a bonafide first-round talent and potentially could be selected in the first 15 picks.
A flexible athlete, he is quick-twitched and can ignite a powerful plant foot at any time or position to react on a ball or move by a receiver. He has shown the ability to completely blanket a receiver and effortlessly move in transition to stay with and on top of almost any wideout at the collegiate level.
Despite size, Jenkins can jam and re-route the receiver well at the line and play with physicality in run support. He is a classic man-cover corner who uses his superior athletic ability and instincts to stay a step ahead.
He surprised many with the decision to return for his senior campaign after earning First Team All-SEC honors from the media and second-team recognition from conference coaches. Rather than return for a triumphant senior season, however, Jenkins was kicked off the team by new head coach Will Muschamp following the star cornerback's second arrest of the off-season. After briefly considering the supplemental draft, Jenkins transferred to Northern Alabama.
True freshman capable of standing out immediately in the SEC are rare, but that is precisely what Jenkins accomplished, becoming only the second Gator cornerback to ever start his first collegiate game.
Jenkins earned Freshman All-SEC accolades in 2008 with 39 tackles, 11 passes broken up and three interceptions and followed up a year later with very similar numbers (38 tackles, six passes broken up, two interceptions) despite the fact that opponents knew by then to target tight ends and running backs rather than challenge the Gators' talented cornerback duo of Haden and Jenkins.
With Haden plying his trade with the Cleveland Browns, the pressure was on Jenkins to perform in 2010 and he certainly did, registering a career high 43 tackles and matching his previous high of three interceptions (along with eight more passes broken up) despite the fact that he was limited for much of the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The injury would force Jenkins to the sideline for the Outback Bowl, but is not expected to hinder him this season for Terry Bowden's UNA Lions, a Division II school.
Read & React: Rare anticipatory skills. Sneaks a peek into the backfield and anticipates routes very well. Possesses as good a break on the ball as any cornerback in the country. Will get himself in trouble as he?s highly aggressive and thus, susceptible to double-moves, but possesses the quick feet, loose hips and good speed to recover if the quarterback doesn?t attack immediately. Quick to react to the run.
Man Coverage: Low, quick backpedal. Loose hips and smooth acceleration. Easily changes directions to mirror receivers. Doesn?t have great size, but flashes good physicality in press coverage. Gets a good initial jam on the receiver and has the agility to turn and run downfield.
Zone Coverage: Good awareness for zone coverage. Has a good feel for the receivers and their routes due to film preparation and keeps his eyes trained on the quarterback. Can drift when he sees the quarterback focusing on an area and is therefore susceptible to savvy passers. Quick to react to the thrown pass and converge on the ball.
Closing/Recovery: Very good downhill closing speed due to his willingness to gamble by reading the quarterback?s eyes as well as exceptionally quick feet. Times his leap well and has good ball skills for the INT. Can extend and pluck outside of his frame. Good vision and elusiveness for the return.
Run Support: An underrated component to his game. Reads run quickly and isn't afraid to go inside the box. Fights through the receiver block and is willing to take on bigger ball-carriers. Good lateral agility to break down in space.
Tackling: A bit inconsistent in this area, though he?s more physical and typically a more reliable open field tackler than most at his position. Will lead with his shoulder trying to make the highlight reel hit and leave himself vulnerable to missed tackles. Will sell out for the PBU/interception and, if he misses, leave the receiver running away from him. Takes good angles in pursuit and breaks down to make the secure stop against elusive athletes in the open field.
Intangibles: Started 37 of 40 games over his career; missing only one (2010 Outback Bowl) due to injury. Showed his toughness by playing through a torn labrum in his right shoulder nearly the entire season. Injury worsened throughout the year, forcing him to miss the Outback Bowl to have surgery to repair it.
Arrested in May, 2009 for his role in a fight. Was tasered and originally charged with affray and resisting arrest without violence, both misdemeanors. The affray charge was later dropped. Was arrested twice in the span of four months following the 2010 season for marijuana possession. His second arrest prompted new Florida head coach Will Muschamp to kick him off the team, leading to Jenkins' transfer to North Alabama."
However, he's a very balanced individual with excellent foot quickness and he sinks his hips about as low as any corner in the draft when looking to drive on the football, generating an elite burst because of it. Showcases "plus" ball skills/coordination as well when asked to get his hands on the throw.
Routinely extends his near side arm into the throwing lane which cuts down the angles and gives him a chance to make a play on the football.
Was used a lot more in press man concepts at North Alabama and to his credit looked comfortable near the line. He's does a nice job sitting low into his drop, extending the proper press hand, fluidly turning and running with the receiver, and quickly locating the football. His natural balance is still a major "plus" even in press man.
Lacks the type of physicality to get a big bump on receivers, but is very coordinated snapping his head around and getting out of his breaks. Is a bear to try to separate from quickly.
Now, his lacking physical make-up will allow receivers to create some separation with a subtle push on their comeback route and he doesn't have the kind of strength to shrug that bump easily. Isn't a real physical tackler either and his angles at times make you think he's not a real interested one either. However, he will breakdown on the edge, use his length well to wrap and will drag down bigger receivers. Takes better angles when alone on an island.
Does have some character concerns as he was kicked off the Florida football team in April following his arrest on misdemeanor marijuana charges and does have another prior run in with the law.
Impression: If he can put it all together off the field, he's got the ability to develop into a very good cover man in the NFL and despite his size he's going to be a really tough guy to separate from in just about any scheme he plays in."
Pedals smoothly and has twitch to plant and drive, flexibility to flip his hips and redirect and anticipation to jump routes.
Shows limited functional strength, inconsistent physicality and average leaping ability (always will be at a disadvantage against bigger receivers) but is tough and will not be intimidated.
Character needs to be evaluated and could be best served landing in a locker room with a veteran presence and father figure-type position coach.
Should contribute readily as a nickel and punt returner before working his way into a starting role."
Now he faces the uphill battle of playing against inferior competition as a senior. No matter how good he plays, people will question who he's doing it against. Some teams may also keep him off their board based on why he had to play a lower level.
Games Viewed: (All 2010) Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida State
Bold Statement: Because of where he's playing as a senior, Jenkins won't be drafted as high as he should be.
• Is a great speed/athleticism player who can run with anyone on vertical routes and keep with quick receivers.
• Has loose hips that he can flip open smoothly without losing a step.
• Shows good instincts to read the play and understand where the ball is going to go.
• Very good hands for a cornerback. In three years, has had eight interceptions.
• Jenkins isn't the best in press coverage because of his lack of strength. Gets past this problem because of his excellent recovery speed.
• Likes to keep an eye in the backfield on the quarterback and can get beaten on double moves or quick comebacks.
• Missed Florida's bowl game because of a torn labrum and will need to undergo heavy medical evaluation. Played most of the 2010 season with the injury.
• His draft stock may be dependent on how well he interviews in the offseason."
Was also involved in a previous off-field incident in 2009 when he was tasered and arrested after being involved in a fight; experienced player with 36 career starts;
Has adequate size and will come up in run support, although he will miss the occasional tackle going for the big hit; also sometimes get overpowered by more physical wide receivers at the line of scrimmage, but generally held up very well against big-time SEC receivers like A.J. Green of Georgia and Alabama’s Julio Jones;
Lacks sprinter speed, but has good quickness and change of direction along with fluid hips, as well as great balance and body control; also reads routes very well and has an excellent feel for the game;
Also has excellent hands and a decisive break on the ball and has 8 career interceptions and 17 other pass breakups; effective in both man and zone coverage; will gamble at times, though, and give up a big play;
Despite the myriad of red flags remains a legitimate fist-round prospect with the physical tools to be a shut-down corner at the next level especially if he runs under 4.5 seconds for the 40 at pre-draft testing."
Has been effective in man to man and zone coverage throughout his career... Takes good angles, aggressive, not afraid of contact... An asset in the return game as well... Dangerous with the ball in his hands, following an interception or in the return game... Three year starter with a lot of experience... Very reliable...
Understands the game... Quickly learned as a freshman, when he was thrown into the starting lineup early in the season... Is ready to contribute in the NFL right away... Could make an immediate impact on special teams.
Negatives: Has trouble against bigger and physical receivers... Takes too many chances, trying to jump routes and go for the big interception... Willing tackler, but needs to work on tackling technique and wrap up better...
Struggles to shed blocks... Could benefit by adding some muscle to his frame... Disappointing sophomore season, must become more consistent... Might be some off field concerns, was arrested during his sophomore season involving a fight and resisting arrest."
Jenkins engages receivers at the line of scrimmage, plays with a good degree of quickness and has an aggressive nature.
He has an explosive burst to the ball out of his plant, works hard to defend passes and has a large upside."
NFL teams will have quite the decision on their hands because (excluding his aforementioned run-ins with the law) he is a very good football player and has few holes in his game. He is a quick reaction player with elite quickness and above average speed.
Jenkins really excels as a cover corner. He shows great body control, fluid motions and decisive movements to make plays on the ball. He is very aggressive when the ball is in the air, to the point that he will sometimes get beat for big plays.
Jenkins does a great job at masking his physical limitations at only 5'10" and 183 pounds. He won't be able to utilize press coverage, but is quick enough to break quickly on the ball and bat it down or take a short drop and run with receivers on short/intermediate routes."
The Gators often ask their cornerbacks to play near the line of scrimmage and Jenkins is no different—he made three tackles for loss as a sophomore. In addition to evaluating his game, NFL teams will conduct a deep background check when the time comes. Jenkins was arrested last summer outside of a bar and subsequently charged with fighting and resisting arrest (without violence). He’ll need to stay out of trouble if he wants his draft stock to be judged by his on-the-field performance. If Jenkins has a big season, it will be interesting to see whether or not he follows Joe Haden’s lead and leaves Gainesville early. He is a borderline first-round pick who should be a lock to go on day two (second/third round) when he decides he’s ready. - Scouting Cornerbacks: Class of 2012
This Florida defensive back has all the tools to be an effective starting NFL cornerback. The thing about Jenkins that will really make teams sit up and take notice is his ability to perform on an island with little to no safety help—he has lockdown cover corner potential—something every team can use. The third-year cover man is so effective due to his smooth, fluid and explosive hips. The two biggest issues of concern to NFL decision makers are his lack of size and his off-field conduct. Jenkins is skinny and needs to add a good 15 pounds. The other troublesome aspect has to do with his character: Jenkins has an arrest record from an incident outside a Florida bar and most NFL teams will not stop their background checks there. The SEC product has volatile draft stock entering the 2010 college season. However, we still believe that even at the low end Jenkins would project no worse than a day two pick, one who will crack the top 100 should he decide to declare following his junior campaign.
Even though he will have just completed his junior year prior to the 2011 NFL Draft he will be uniquely qualified to help an NFL team from day one. At the end of the day if Jenkins can beef up to around 200 pounds and show the strength required to jam big boys at the line, he might end up sneaking into the first round of the upcoming draft. We expect Jenkins to submit his name to the NFL advisory committee before making his decision. Because of his high ceiling, unless he receives a first round or at least an early second round grade, the Gator should consider returning for his senior campaign and enter the 2011 season as the top senior cornerback prospect in college football."